There are many things to think about when looking for child care for your child. Some will be more important to you than others, depending on your needs as a family. Think about your schedule, your financial situation, and the location of your workplace. Refer to our Checklists to help you make your decision.
It is very important for parents to visit potential child care programs before making a decision. Programs vary widely in quality, environment, and how they handle children’s developmental needs. You should see the program for yourself, and meet the people who will be caring for your child before you choose care.
Keep all these factors in mind as you look at a variety of child care situations:
- When do you need child care to start? It is always a good idea to allow yourself plenty of time for your child care search.
- Do you want your child with a provider near home or near work? Are you relocating?
- As your child grows and develops physically and emotionally, many changes occur. You will want to choose a form of child care that will meet your child's developmental needs.
- Does your child need a lot of room to run around?
- Does your child do best in a small group or in a larger group with a lot of activity and other children?
- Does your child have special scheduling needs?
- Does your child bond with others easily or handle separations well?
- Would your child benefit from having one provider vs. a group of teachers in his/her daily life?
- Has your child been in child care previously? What has worked well? What has been difficult?